Tribunal declines jurisdiction ove dual citizen’s right to arbitration against Mauritius

In a statement released on April 6 2018, the legal team of Mr. Dawood Rawat stated that the arbitral tribunal in the arbitration proceedings between their client and the Republic of Mauritius brought before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA CASE 2016-20) initiated on the Bilateral Investment Treaty between France and the Republic of Mauritius (the BIT) issued a decision on the limited question of the  jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the dispute.

The matter boiled down to one issue: Mr. Dawood Rawat’s right, as a dual French-Mauritian citizen, to bring an investor-state claim against Mauritius based on the BIT between Mauritius and France. In deciding that the Tribunal lacked jurisdiction to hear the case, it relied on the fact that Mr. Rawat is not only a national of France, but also has Mauritian nationality. Even though the Tribunal admitted that dual nationals (such as Mr. Rawat) are not explicitly excluded from the protection of the Treaty, it made its decision by reference to the ICSID Convention in a clause of the BIT. Although recognizing good arguments in support of jurisdiction put forward by Mr. Rawat’s counsel, the tribunal decided to import the definition of “national of another Contracting State” (that excludes dual nationals) from article 25(2)(a) of the ICSID Convention.

Mr. Rawat’s claim relates to the expropriation of his investments in Mauritius, which was decided and implemented by the Government as of 2015, and having declined jurisdiction the tribunal did not address, take any evidence or make any decision on the facts.

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